Uncle Hyena (unclehyena) wrote,
Uncle Hyena

Random Bits from Facebook

March 18:
A brief rant:

The following quotation, from Maya Angelou, was on one of our page-a-day calendars:

"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have."

This sentiment doesn't exactly anger me; what would be the point? But it does make me unhappy, and serves to underscore the fact that highly creative people have NOTHING to say to marginally creative people. There are many people like Angelou in the world, for whom creativity is essentially a river, who are energized by the process of creation.

I suspect, however, that there are also many more people like me, for whom the act of creation, even when truly excited about the project at hand, is exhauting and brutal. (And who find work on projects externally sourced and demanded outright torture.)

There is NO meaningful answer to the question of acquiring more creativity. If you are fortunate, your ability to create is closely matched to your desire to do so. If not... Keep putting one foot in front of the other, and never let the light go out.

March 19:
The following is a physical metaphor for an intellectual experience. Keep that in mind.

Many years ago, a good friend accidentally poisoned me. I survived, and ultimately am glad I had the experience; I am unquesitonably better for it. But it was still exremely unpleasant, and if I had not, by blind luck, been unusually well prepared for the experience, it might have been fatal. The experience left physical scars.

Every now and then, someone sees the scars and asks me about them, and my replies are sketchy. The experience was a good thing FOR ME, but my friend very much regrets his part in it, and the risks are too great for me to recommend the experience to anyone else.

When pressed, my usual answer is, "The world is full of poisons; find your own. I will not have your death on my conscience."

Those have ears to hear, let them hear.

March 19:
Sir Richard Francis Burton, soldier, swordsman, scholar, spy, explorer, and occasional politician, was born on this day in 1821. He was far from perfect, but he was an adventurer with few peers in all of history. Go watch some version of "Aladdin", and consider that the man who translated that story into English led a more interesting life than the title character.

March 20:
Life in my household:
We were watching iZombie, and Dementia commented that, in the sealed environment scenario that the show is currently running, there would have to be a LOT of hand-waving to make the numbers BEGIN to work out. This led to Hyena delivering an extemporaneous presentation on the economics of raising humans as a food crop. Hyena concedes that his brain is a very scary place.

Anne Alvarado added:
You just had me googling brain mass changes (presuming, of course, that the zombies are raising us for our brains)... and when that did’t work, head circumference growth chart.

So, as a result, between 3 and 18 it seems that there’s about a 10% growth in circumference, which means a 10% growth in the radius (assuming a spherical brain) or about a 32% increase in volume.

Therefore, zombies should harvest humans between 2-3 years old. (The circumference doubles, or more between 0-2, so thats an 800% increase in volume).

Thank you so much Paul.

March 21:
English pains:
I first encountered the word "alicorn" back when I was a fledgling folklorist (which to say, sometime after I first learned to read). The word was defined as "a unicorn's horn, or the substance of which a unicorn's horn is made, or a cup made from a unicorn's horn, or a cup supposedly enchanted to have the poison-stopping properties of a unicorn's horn." I don't think I encountered all of that for the first time in a single place, but I may have. I encountered the word in several works, and all of them agreed: "alicorn" referred in some way to the HORN of a unicorn.

Some time later, I read "Bearing an Hourglass" by Piers Anthony, and he introduced a singular character, a winged unicorn, called, "The Alicorn" (note the capital). I gnashed my teeth; this was an inappropriate use of the word. It also worried me, because Anthony was a popular writer, and I was afraid that Anthony's heresy might spread.

I was right to be afraid; Anthony's heresy eventually spread to the land of "My Little Pony", whose deranged followers take everything on the show as Holy Writ.

The upshot of this is that I no longer feel secure in using the word "alicorn" without an attached explanation, because I have seen it confuse people who I thought would know better. Grrr.

(Along the way, I have learned that while "alicorno" was used interchangably for both a unicorn and a unicorn's horn in medieval Italian, the English use of the word only goes as far back as "The Lore of the Unicorn", by Odell Shepard, in 1930. So avoiding the word altogether might be wise.)

March 21:
Life in my household:
Hyena was watching Dementia pour lemon juice into her wine, and commented that every time she did that, a thousand dead sommeliers rolled over in their graves. Dementia just smiled.

March 23:
Today's tee shirt is a national flag, sable, a cross argent. Just to see if anyone is paying attention.

March 27:
Dementia's music player is running randomly through her EXTREMELY eclectic collection. Tom Smith's "Bermuda Triangle" just came up. I haven't heard that in FAR too long; there are tears running down my face. Life is, for just that long, pretty much perfect. (In spite of the fact that the instrumental bridge would be a saxophone solo in a PERFECT universe...)

March 28:
History and Fate:

While coming home from two nights in Decatur, IL (dealing with a minor family emergency), Dementia asked Hyena about the town's name. Hyena proceeded to relate a short biography of Stephen Decatur, including the destruction of the USS Philadelphia. "Why wasn't I taught this in school?" Dementia asked. "Why isn't there a movie about it? Hell, why isn't there a MUSICAL about it?"

Hyena just shook his head and shrugged.

March 28:
I was in a truckstop this afternoon, glancing at the bric-a-brac as I walked past, and it occurred to me that it would be cool to have a window sticker with the arrows of chaos and the motto, "Blood and Souls". I am not sure I would be willing to put it on my car, mind you; in some parts of the country, that kind of thing would get you burned at the stake. But still...

March 29:
Clueless Tom would have been 63 today. He's been gone more than 12 years. I've said it before: The world is safer, saner, and sadder without him.

That which is remembered, lives.

March 30:
Closing connections:

In 1997, we saw Disney's "Hercules" in the theater when it was in general release. Danny DeVito voiced a character whose full name was given once or twice, but was generally known as, "Phil". I haven't seen the film since.

In 2007, we watched the first series of "Torchwood", including an episode called "Greeks Bearing Gifts", in which an alien character stranded on Earth referred to herself as "Philoctetes". I wasn't familiar with that particular character from Greek mythology, and looked him up. I haven't seen that episode since, either.

Last night, DeVito's character in "Hercules" came up in conversation, and a connection closed. I could almost hear DeVito say, "Name's Philoctetes, but you can call me Phil." I looked it up, just to be sure, but I KNEW.
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